Jeopardy! (partially lost episodes of quiz show; 1986)

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The set from the 1984 pilot

Status: Partially Lost

The American quiz show Jeopardy! has an unknown amount of missing episodes (most of them are from the original NBC series hosted by Art Fleming that ran from 1964 to 1975 and 1978 to 1979). The current series, which began airing in 1984, has mostly all its episodes archived and reran. However, five episodes from the Alex Trebek era (which lasted from 1984 to 2021) have not aired since their original broadcasts in 1986.

Background[edit | edit source]

The episodes featured a female contestant named Barbara Lowe (at least what she said to producers) who won five days on the quiz show from March 6th, 1986, to March 12th, 1986, but was disqualified from that year's Tournament of Champions[1] because it was revealed that she was ineligible and that she appeared on the game show Bullseye (which was already off the air by the time of Jeopardy!'s current run that began in 1984) under a different alias and lied about her name (her real name is unknown).[2][3] The amount of money won by Barbara during those five games is unknown, but Harry Eisenberg (the show's then producer and head writer) stated in his 1997 book Jeopardy! A Revealing Look Inside TV's Top Quiz Show that Barbara won "approximately $50,000".[4] Her winnings were withheld, and she threatened to sue Merv Griffin Enterprises and KingWorld Productions and ended up receiving her winnings, but she ended up being banned from any future tournaments on the show.[5] She also reportedly bounced and fidgeted behind her podium, arguing with Alex Trebek (the show's now-deceased host) over incorrect answers and was very ignorant to the other contestants.[6]

Availability[edit | edit source]

The current series of Jeopardy has been rerun over the years, either during the summer, on Game Show Network, or on streaming services (like Netflix and Pluto TV), but Barbara's episodes have not been rerun since they last aired. Many episodes have surfaced online, and even Barbara's haven't appeared online. So far, the only surviving footage of her run is a sixty-seven-second clip of the Final Jeopardy! round of her second game (March 7th, 1986) that was uploaded to YouTube by user TPiJ290 on May 1st, 2020, but is unlisted but still viewable as of the writing of this article. Barbara's episodes were found by the National Archives of Game Show History and subsequently added to the J! Archive on December 15th, 2022.[7]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Footage[edit | edit source]

The only surviving footage of Barbara Lowe's run on Jeopardy!.
1987 news report about Jeopardy! featuring Lowe.
1986 promo featuring footage from Lowe's first appearance.

Videos[edit | edit source]

BrayBray's video on the subject.
BrayBray's follow up video on the subject.

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]